Dolls are a reflection of culture and history, making them important heirlooms to cherish and preserve. From the bisque dolls of the 19th century to the vintage vinyl dolls of past century, doll collectors around world enjoy collecting dolls of varied types and styles. Proper care and storage not only protects the value of the dolls but also allows antique doll enthusiasts enjoy these treasures for many years to come.
Examine the dolls and their clothing with clean hands to ensure they are clean and free of dust before storage. Use a clean soft cloth for dusting. A damp cloth may be used to clean the body. Remove any bright colored ribbons, tags or clothing that might discolor the skin of the dolls during storage. Also remove any rubber bands as they grow brittle over time and can discolor your dolls.
Wrap the dolls in acid-free tissue paper and place them in individual acid-free boxes. Dolls with closing eyes should be stored face down to prevent the eyes from falling into the head. Place removed jewelry or clothing in an acid-free bag and put into the box with the doll.
Store the doll boxes in a closet or cabinet of a room with moderate temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a low humidity of 50 to 60 percent. The storage area should be out of bright sunlight. Use cedar or moth bolls only if absolutely necessary to keep bugs away but do not let them come into direct contact with the dolls.
Check the dolls periodically to allow them to air out. Consider rotating your collection regularly keeping a number on display and others in storage.
Vinyl dolls easily pick up stains from brightly colored objects and clothing. Store their original packaging in a separate box to prevent the plastic of the box from damaging the doll.
Labeling each box with a description and photo of the doll will help you easily organize your collection in storage.
Use mild soap to wash your hands prior to handling your dolls or wear cotton gloves as natural body oils and creams can be harmful for the dolls.